A SON whose parents died two months apart is running the London marathon in their memory.

Andrew Speed, of Oziers in Elsenham, is raising £3,500 for St Clare Hospice in Hastingwood.

He wants to thank them for their treatment of his parents, Patricia and Alan Speed, when they spent their final days there.

The 32-year-old’s mother, who he lived with in York Road, North Weald, died in St Clare’s hospice, aged 48 on January 15, 2005, after being diagnosed with cancer at Christmas 2004.

Two weeks after his mum’s funeral, Andrew was told that his father was also dying of cancer. Weeks later, Alan went to St Clare’s and died on March 18, 2005.

Andrew said: “I just could not believe it, we had only just buried our mum.”

In the years since his parents deaths, Andrew has also lost his aunt, grandad and his grandmother to cancer

He said: “My parents suffered their battle with cancer at the same time for years, having chemotherapy, radiotherapy and operations. They always pulled through, so I believed they could fight it.

“I miss them so much and think about them every day. When my parents passed, me and my sister were very young. We had aunties and uncles around to help us, but we remained living in our family home.

“I’m very proud of my sister to be honest. I feel that because we were so young at the time of our parents passing, we could have gone down the wrong road. We both stayed in work though and have stayed out of trouble. That’s a credit to my parents for bringing us up so well. My sister and I are still very close.”

Andrew moved out of his family home in 2012, and now has a wife, Julie-Anne and two children, Emily, three, and Alice, one.

He added: “It does upset me that my parents missed out on being grandparents to mine and my sisters children. I believe they would have been over the moon to be grandparents.

“They weren’t the richest people, but they gave me and my sister everything we needed and I believe they waited until my sister and I were old enough to defend ourselves before giving up their fight with cancer.”

Andrew has so far raised £2,800 of his target. You can donate at : http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AndrewSpeed1985